United States’ Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Secretary of Defence Mark Esper are in India for the historic 2+2 dialogue ahead of the Presidential election in the US.
While the US here is trying to lure the Indian diaspora in the US ahead of the US election, India, on the other hand, sees it as an opportunity to further strengthen the relations between the two countries.
During the ongoing 2+2 Dialogue, India and the USA have signed a landmark defence pact called Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) to allow better Geo-Spatial Cooperation.
The deal, as per the report, will lead to the sharing of high-end military technology, geospatial maps and classified satellite data between their militaries.
Besides the aforementioned pact, in the third round of US-India 2+2 ministerial dialogue, the two parties are also expected to Maritime Information Sharing Technical Arrangement (MISTA). This deal will allow faster and better maritime information sharing between the two countries.
BECA is one pact that will intensify India’s efforts in addressing its security issues. The deal allows India access to precious data and topographical images – on a real-time basis – from the US Military. This becomes very important owing to the current standoff between India and China as the images will help India understand developments not only across its borders but also in the Indo Pacific region.
“This year marks the 15th anniversary of the first U.S.-India Defense Framework and our third 2+2 Ministerial. We have strengthened our defense and security partnership considerably since then, especially over the past year, during which we advanced our regional security, military-to-military, and information-sharing cooperation. Our focus now must be on institutionalizing and regularizing our cooperation to meet the challenges of the day and uphold the principles of a free and open Indo-Pacific well into the future,” Mark Esper said.
The BECA data is also crucial as it entails military-grade coordinates that eventually could help direct missiles of air-launched bombs to a terror location in the neighbourhood with high accuracy.